The Importance of Depersonalizing your House to Sell

Depersonalizing your House
Published on May 3, 2018

It is hard work getting a house ready for sale. This is especially true if you are still living in it. However, all that hard work can pay off big time if you do a good job of staging the home to sell. Unfortunately, many people are anxious to show potential home buyers what they have done with the property, and this can create some problems. In fact, it’s best to make your house as “generic” or “plain” as possible when it comes to personal effects and decorating. This is called depersonalizing your house and it can help sell a home quickly.

What Does Depersonalizing your House Mean?

When you buy a house, you probably want to customize it to fit your needs. For example, you might want green walls in the bedroom with wall clocks, paintings, and other wall adornments throughout the house. You may proudly display your collections with special furniture or shelving. You have specific ideas of what you want for towels, small appliances, and many personal items in your home. Decorating separates your home from all the others. This is a good thing, except when it is time to sell your house.

Problems with Personalization

There is nothing wrong with customizing and personalizing your house. Yet, when you list it for sale, potential home buyers are not interested in personal details of the house. They want something they can personalize and make their own. By stripping away your personal touches, you give home shoppers a chance to visual the house as theirs (not yours).

How Depersonalizing your House Helps you Sell your Home

Imagine there are two houses for sale and you are a home buyer. If the house in Collingwood is empty. The walls are painted white and there are simple window coverings and the house in Thornbury is full of furniture and it looks like the owners have just stepped out to go shopping.

When you walk through the first house, nothing gets in the way of your imagination. You can see your new home with your belongings and all the colours and designs that appeal to you. You can, in your mind, see this house as your future home.

On the other hand, as you tour the second home, you get the feeling you are in someone else’s house. In fact, you may be so struck with the decorating, personal effects, and colours, that you don’t notice many of the home’s good points. Your imagination is hindered and you only see what the current owners have done. It’s hard to visualize this house as yours.

Which house do you think will sell the fastest? Which house will fetch top dollar? Both homes for sale may sell quickly and for a good price, but the odds are in favour of the Collingwood home selling first. If you want your home to sell fast, it’s a good idea to stack the odds in your favour.

Tips for Removing “You” from the Property

You may not be able to move all the furniture out of the house and strip everything down to the basics. However, you can still do many things to depersonalize your house.

Start with the Exterior

Is the yard filled with children’s toys or other items? Things scattered all over your yard makes the place appear “messy” or “unkempt”. It’s best to present a neat and clean appearance. Make sure the lawn is mowed and the yard is clean and presentable. This increases curb appeal and helps to depersonalize the entire property.

Rent a Storage Locker

Before you show the house to potential Buyers, remove as many personal items as you can. Make a list of everything you need and take what you don’t need, to storage. Include furniture and seasonal items like mowers, snow blowers, garden equipment, and such. If you have extra TVs, storage tubs, things thrown in closets or attics, take them to storage.

The more things you remove, the easier it is to clean and organize. It gives your home a neat and tidy look that most home buyers are looking for.


Strip the walls to the basics. Unless your wall clocks are plain, take them down. If possible, paint walls white or a neutral colour. That way, the new owner’s things will not clash with the walls. White make rooms look bigger and more impressive and it’s easier to paint over white walls.

Put away plaques, pictures, and anything of a personal nature. Don’t forget paintings, wall mirrors, and other items. You don’t have to store everything in the storage locker, but be sure personal things are not clearly visible when home shoppers tour the house.


Make sure bathrooms are clean and all personal items are not in plain sight. Remove as many things as you can from medicine cabinets, and vanities.


Take everything off the fridge door. Put away toasters, blenders, and other appliances. This makes the kitchen look bigger while depersonalizing your house and kitchen.

Putting all this “Depersonalizing your House” into Perspective

Before you put your property on the South Georgian Bay real estate market, do as much as you can to depersonalize your house. Depersonalization means taking away all the personal touches you added to your home. The more generic the home appears, the easier it is for potential home buyers to visual your space as theirs.

Go through the entire house and remove everything you can, and rent a storage locker if you have limited storage space. Paint your home using generic or universal colours whenever possible. This will increase your odds of a fast sale with few hassles.

As soon as you decide to sell your home, talk to an experienced real estate professional. He or she knows what it takes to sell a property and your real estate agent is not compensated unless the home sells. You have nothing to lose and so much to gain with professional assistance.

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